The Sovereignty Of God
Who Is In Charge Anyway?
“Thy righteousness also, O God, is very high, who hast done great things: O God, who is like unto thee!” [Psalms 71:19]
In this study we are going to discuss Bible verses that few people know about and that few people like once they hear about them. Those that don’t like these verses usually say… “Well. they don’t really mean that.”… or …. “Well, that’s just your interpretation.”… or … “The Bible must have been mistranslated.” In spite of the detractors and naysayers of God’s Word, let us move forward with this all-important study. It will hopefully shed much light on questions that we may have thought there were no answers to like:
- Why does a good God allow suffering and evil?
- Is the “devil” really the god of this world?
What is the definition of “sovereignty”?
1. government free from external control
2. royal authority; the dominion of a monarch
What this word means in reference to God is that He is free to do whatever He pleases. In no way is He subject to man’s will or actions.
One of my favorite passages describing the sovereignty of God is EPHESIANS CHAPTER 1:
Ephesians 1:3 – “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved. 7 In whom we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace; 8 Wherein he hath abounded toward us in all wisdom and prudence; 9 Having made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he hath purposed in himself: 10 That in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth; even in him: 11 In whom also we have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of him who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will:”
Does this mean that God is responsible for even the most terrible tragedy? It most surely does. What may appear to be a terrible tragedy to us, from our microscopic point of view, may be the source of great blessings from God’s eternal point of view. God may allow a terrible automobile accident to occur as part of His plan to bring salvation to a wretched drunk driver or to bring salvation to the mother whose child was killed by a drunk driver. You may wonder “Why couldn’t God do it some other way?” To this we can only look to God and trust Him to know what is best. He is the One who designed us and His word tells us that:
Romans 5:1 – “Therefore being justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ: 2 By whom also we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God. 3 And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; 4 And patience, experience; and experience, hope:”
ROMANS CHAPTER 9 is another portion of Scripture that causes people, even professing Christians, to be perturbed:
Romans 9:13 – “As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated. 14 What shall we say then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid. 15 For he saith to Moses, I will have mercy on whom I will have mercy, and I will have compassion on whom I will have compassion. 16 So then it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. 17 For the scripture saith unto Pharaoh, Even for this same purpose have I raised thee up, that I might shew my power in thee, and that my name might be declared throughout all the earth. 18 Therefore hath he mercy on whom he will have mercy, and whom he will he hardeneth. 19 Thou wilt say then unto me, Why doth he yet find fault? For who hath resisted his will? 20 Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? 21 Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour? 22 What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: 23 And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,”
God can do and He does do whatever He pleases, whether or not sinful men think He is being “fair” according to their sin-corrupted minds.
God is not a “sugar-daddy”:
The problem people have with the above passage from Romans is that they were taught that God loves everybody unconditionally. However, the Bible does not talk about this kind of sin-blind, sugar-daddy god. Such a god exists only the minds of those who do not know the truth about the real God, who is a God who hates sin and the ungodly as much as He loves holiness and the righteous…
Psalms 5:5 – The foolish shall not stand in thy sight: thou hatest all workers of iniquity. 6 Thou shalt destroy them that speak leasing: the LORD will abhor the bloody and deceitful man.
Psalms 11:5 – The LORD trieth the righteous: but the wicked and him that loveth violence his soul hateth. 6 Upon the wicked he shall rain snares, fire and brimstone, and an horrible tempest: this shall be the portion of their cup.
Psalms 10:3 – For the wicked boasteth of his heart’s desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the LORD abhorreth.
Prov 6:16 – These six things doth the LORD hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: 17 A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood, 18 An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running to mischief, 19 A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
ADDITIONAL VERSES describing the sovereignty of God:
Isaiah 46:10 – Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure: 11 Calling a ravenous bird from the east, the man that executeth my counsel from a far country: yea, I have spoken it, I will also bring it to pass; I have purposed it, I will also do it.
Isaiah 43:13 – Yea, before the day was I am he; and there is none that can deliver out of my hand: I will work, and who shall let it?
Psalms 33:11 – The counsel of the LORD standeth for ever, the thoughts of his heart to all generations.
Psalms 135:6 – Whatsoever the LORD pleased, that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the seas, and all deep places.
Proverbs 19:21 – There are many devices in a man’s heart; nevertheless the counsel of the LORD, that shall stand.
Daniel 4:35 – And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?
And let us take a look at the gospels where we see Christ’s sovereignty in choosing whom He pleased to heal and to save as He walked this earth.
In John chapter 9 we see that God caused a man to be born blind on purpose: “that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
John 9:1 – “And as Jesus passed by, he saw a man which was blind from his birth.
2 And his disciples asked him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind?
3 Jesus answered, Neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
In John chapter 5 we see “a great multitude” of crippled people, all of whom Jesus walked by with no mention of Him healing any of them except the one particular man whom Jesus choose to heal:
John 5:2 – “Now there is at Jerusalem by the sheep market a pool, which is called in the Hebrew tongue Bethesda, having five porches.
3 In these lay a great multitude of impotent folk, of blind, halt, withered, waiting for the moving of the water.
4 For an angel went down at a certain season into the pool, and troubled the water: whosoever then first after the troubling of the water stepped in was made whole of whatsoever disease he had.
5 And a certain man was there, which had an infirmity thirty and eight years.
6 When Jesus saw him lie, and knew that he had been now a long time in that case, he saith unto him, Wilt thou be made whole?
7 The impotent man answered him, Sir, I have no man, when the water is troubled, to put me into the pool: but while I am coming, another steppeth down before me.
8 Jesus saith unto him, Rise, take up thy bed, and walk.
9 And immediately the man was made whole, and took up his bed, and walked: and on the same day was the sabbath.”
Many would think that this kind of a God and Saviour is unfair (who does as He pleases and only saves and heals whom He chooses to heal based on simply “His good pleasure”) but who are we to cast judgment on God?
If we are truly Christ’s, we will bow the knee to God’s sovereignty – His right to do as He pleases with His world and His creation – and instead of showing resentment, we will take comfort in knowing that we have a God who “doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou?” [Daniel 4:35].
“Who is like unto thee, O LORD, among the gods? who is like thee, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders?” [Exodus 15:11]